Social enterprise group buys Garforth indie

A social enterprise group has bought a struggling bookshop in a bid to support community spirit and help prevent loneliness.

The Baraka Foundation runs two coffee shops and recently bought Garforth Bookshop in Garforth, near Leeds. The former owners of the business, Louise and Byron Godfrey, decided it was time to sell the bookshop after experiencing particularly poor Christmas sales but will still work at the business after the sale

Louise Godfrey, who ran the business from 2003, said: “Christmas was a washout compared to most other years, mainly down to the weather. Competition from the supermarkets and online was also difficult—we were around a third down on sales over Christmas.”

Co-founder of the Baraka Foundation, Nick Castle, said the bookshop was well-liked in Garforth and was a good business fit with the two coffee shops also run by the social enterprise. He plans to increase sales by putting more emphasis on making recommendations to customers and extending the children’s book range.

Castle said: “The whole reason we set the Baraka Foundation up is to try and build a better community and reduce loneliness. One of the things that really helps community spirit is keeping the high street alive.”

The Baraka enterprises are all mainly staffed by volunteers and the profit from the two coffee shops and the bookshop will be put back into the three businesses.